Thursday, July 30, 2009

Water Needed Everywhere

It has been record setting temperatures in the Portland area this week. We are looking at today possibly being the 4th day in a row with over 100 degrees. It was 111 on our back porch yesterday afternoon. This is so unusual for this area and people are unprepared for this type of weather. It has been over 90 for going on two weeks. Quite a few of the local cities and counties has opened up cooling centers for everyone. One local news station has provided a list here.

Seth and I have been handing out water to everyone we see on the street. There have been people waiting for the bus, people who wave signs advertising a business, homeless people with no place to go to cool off, the list goes on with the common theme of these people can't get out of the heat. Everyone needs water. We have been using empty milk gallons, 1 and 2 ltr pop bottles, and purchased a few cases of bottled water. We froze some and just refrigerated others. I keep a cooler in my car for anyone I see on my way to/from work. Seth has been walking around the neighborhood a few times a day. Anything helps.

Please, if you can, help anyone you see. Water is relatively inexpensive.

If you have to be out & about yourself could you take an extra water bottle or two? Help an elderly neighbor unload groceries to get out of the sun quicker? Maybe you see someone who has a hanging flower basket that needs a bit of water. When the temps are 77 at 6:30 am and still over 95 degrees at 10pm it is hard to get out and tend to the yard. The animals are suffering too. We have had both squirrels and birds just sitting in the yard panting. Maybe you have a pie pan to fill with water and put in the shade. Any thought you have could help.
We all pulled together for that extreme snow storm in December. Remember that? What I wouldn't give to go back to that!!! We can do it with the hot weather as well. If you have any other great ideas or things you are doing please post a comment to let everyone know.
Take care and try to stay cool.
Seth and Michelle

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome to the Sun!

Hello to all! We hope that everyone is doing great and staying nice and cool! It is sweltering here in Portland. Possibly above 100 degrees over the next 4 days. Gross!! We feel like we have moved from NE PDX to the surface of the Sun!

Onto happier things, though.

First of all, we are having our monthly meet and greet at our home on August 5th, from 11am-2pm. We would love for everyone to attend. We know that some of you have jobs and other commitments, but we would love a home full of our neighbors!

Changing gears a bit, Michelle and I went to the store yesterday (Michelle's idea) and purchased 2 cases of bottled water ($6 for both) and a couple of bags of ice. Then, we put a cooler full of the water and ice in the car so that when we see someone walking down the street that could use some help cooling off, we can give them a nice, cold water. We have a lot of homeless and near-homeless people in the city and we're sure they could use some water during these HOT days. Or, if you just see someone that looks overheated, you can hand them something to help cool them down. It's a great gesture and, believe us, makes you feel really good! We have also printed off (from our home computer) a list of cooling centers around the city to hand out to people that could use them.

Next item, we have been really busy lately with a ton of small projects. Lots of little things and quick-fixes. That being said, we have quite a few bigger projects on the table and we could sure use some help. Please email us at if you have some time to help out a neighbor or two.

Can anyone come up with some other ideas for helping out our fellow neighbors? Ways to help cool them off? Let us know and we can put it into action! For instance, we had an extra air conditioner, and we offered it to our next door neighbors since they didn't have one. Every little bit helps. Let us know what you have been doing to help others in need!

And another big THANK YOU to everyone that has gone out on projects this month! It has been hot, muggy and demanding, but you have stepped up and said "I will help my neighbors, no matter what"! You are all amazing people and wonderful neighbors!!

We hope to see a lot of you at the meet and greet and we wish everyone the best during these hot and trying times. Please remember, every little thing you can do for someone else, makes you feel immensely better about yourself! If we could all be there to help each other, then this would be a pretty cool, little rock that we live on.

Take care and see you soon,

Seth and Michelle

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Waterfront Blues Festival 2009 (it was hot)

Yesterday, a large group of volunteers, both from Providence Health Plans and We've Got Time to Help, headed down to the waterfront to help out with the opening day of the Blues Festival. There were 12 of us total and we had an awesome time!

The suggested donation for entry was $10 and 2 cans of food. The Oregon Food Bank is going to be the recipient of all the good will. I can't tell you how many pallets of food and how much money was taken in yesterday, but it was a lot! Quite a few people donated much more than the suggested amounts, both food and money. It was great to see so many people giving so much!

The Festival is still going on today, tomorrow and Sunday, so if you like great music, good food and tasty beer, head on down to the waterfront and don't forget to bring some food for the food bank!

It was the hottest day of the year, but luckily, most of it was spent underneath one of the tents. It was still HOT, though. Here are a few photos from the day.

The main gate where our group was stationed.

Terrance was the life of the party and we couldn't have been happier to have him with us!

Here is David (left) taping up one of the thousands of boxes of donated food, Michele (a newcomer to WGGTH, on the phone) with a people counter in her hand, and Terrance peaking out from behind another volunteer from different group (notice, Terrance is still smiling!).

This photo is of Susan (far left) taking the donation money from visitors, unidentified Hat Man, Charity and Lucas, Jake, and Shanna. Jake was from another group but he was a big help to everyone.

These smiling faces are Donna and her daughter, Katie.

Here is (our) Michelle taking a bag of donated goods to the tent. As she would like me to remind everyone, it was 95 degrees and she had been on the job for a few hours at this point. I still think she is beautiful!

Here is Sam at the benefactor tent. She had an awesome view and she was close to the music, so Sam was one happy woman!
Thank you to everyone who showed up yesterday! It was a great time for a great cause! Hope to see you all soon!
p.s. Did we mention it was hot??
Seth and Michelle (glad to be locked in one small room of the house with a window AC unit)

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Gorge Falls Fest

Every year, the weekend after Father's Day, Multnomah Falls puts on an event called the Gorge Falls Fest. Aaron P., the on site manager for the Forest Service and one of WGTTH's first volunteers, was kind enough to offer us a booth at the event.
Michelle and I were there both Saturday and Sunday from 9am until close. One other volunteer, Mel, came up for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon.
It was a busy weekend with thousands of people coming to the Falls. We talked with hundreds of people that were interested in what WGTTH is about. We handed out a lot of fliers and information about our group. We also handed out tons of the Portland Upside's newest issue.
People were really receptive and gave us a lot of positive feedback. Information about WGTTH is going everywhere from Florida to Italy! How cool is that? Others said that they have heard about us and were interested in becoming a volunteer.
Hopefully, we made a positive difference in some lives. Maybe some of these people will go back home and become even better neighbors than they are right now!
We are already looking forward to next year's event!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Waterfront Blues Festival

Today, a group of us are going down to volunteer at the front gate at the Blues Festival on the waterfront. Any and everyone is more than welcome to come down and say hi and listen to some great music. We have enough volunteers but we would love see anyone who wants to come down.

We will be there from 3:30-6:30pm tonight and we are really looking forward to it!

On a side note, we apologize profusely for not posting very much as of late. We have been busier than we ever thought possible and we never seem to have enough time to post on the blog.

So, here are a few updates.

We still would love to have some people take over as "project managers" for a project or two. If you would be willing to just be the contact person/scheduler for any project you like, just email us and we will give you all the info you need. Thanks in advance!

This last weekend, we were at Multnomah Falls for their annual Gorge Falls fest event. A big thank you to Aaron Pedersen, the on site manager for the Forest Service at the falls, for helping us get in the event and for getting us some much needed coffee! Thanks Aaron!! It was a great turn out and we talked with hundreds of people during the 2 day event. Also, a big thank you to Mel, who volunteered his Saturday afternoon at the booth. Hopefully, we reached some people and they will go back to their home state and start paying it forward a little!

We still have plenty of projects available for those who want to help. We will be sending a more complete update to everyone in the next day or two and get this blog caught up to where it should be.

Thank you again to everyone who has been out there "neighboring" and keep up the awesome work!!

Seth and Michelle

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